News | Dec. 23, 2021

DLA displays innovation at the Defense Manufacturing Conference

By Lauren Faal, Lori Smithmitchell, Sara Moore DLA Information Operations Strategic Communications

Defense Logistics Agency leaders showcased the agency’s innovation efforts and contributed to  resilience discussions during the Defense Manufacturing Conference Dec. 13-16 in Aurora, Colorado. 

DMC 2021 brought together more than 1,000 attendees and 130 exhibitor organizations for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the theme “Building Back a Robust, Resilient U.S. Defense Industrial Base.” 

David Koch, director of DLA Research & Development  moderated the innovators panel and spoke on DLA’s research and development efforts, success stories and outlook.

“R&D performs risk reduction for DLA by continuously testing new ideas and technologies,”. Koch said.

George Duchak, director of DLA Information Operations and chief information officer, spoke on the innovators panel. The panel explored where the manufacturing technology industrial base can increase resiliency and reduce barriers to innovation, while improving rapid business processes amidst current global, near-peer competition. 

“Innovation is about people, process and things. Successful technical adoption is centered around getting our people to change their minds,” Duchak emphasized. Panelists agreed major disruptive change will drive an increasingly innovative defense industrial base.

Peter Battaglia, DLA Supply Chain Risk Management program manager, participated in the post-COVID panel, discussing the importance of building a resilient supply chain within the national manufacturing industrial base.

“DLA is utilizing whole-of-nation support to secure supply chains,” he remarked.

A highlight from the conference was Kelly Morris, DLA chief technical officer, receiving the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technical Panel award for serving over four years as the DLA principal representative. 

This year’s DMC brought together principals representing the Navy, Army, Air Force, DLA, Missile Defense Agency and Office of the Secretary of Defense to address the most effective ways to scale the digital and automated technologies used by DOD alongside manufacturing technology partners, academia, industry, and Whole of Government stakeholders.

“DMC is important for the DOD manufacturing technology community. By bringing together key participants from government, industry and academia, we shared innovative ideas, updated on new technologies, and presented research advances across the community to facilitate maintaining a strong defense industrial base,” Koch said.